Effects of periodic flooding and root pruning on Quercus nuttallii seedlings

  • Published source details Farmer J.W. & Pezeshki S.R. (2004) Effects of periodic flooding and root pruning on Quercus nuttallii seedlings. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 12, 205-214.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Prune roots of trees/shrubs before planting: freshwater wetlands

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Prune roots of trees/shrubs before planting: freshwater wetlands

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in a laboratory in Tennessee, USA (Farmer & Pezeshki 2004) found that pruning the roots of Nuttall oak Quercus nuttallii seedlings before planting had no significant effect on their survival or growth after 108 days. Pruned and unpruned seedlings had statistically similar survival rates 108 days after planting (data not reported). Pruned seedlings also grew in height by a statistically similar amount (lightly pruned: 8 cm; heavily pruned: 10 cm) to unpruned seedlings (13 cm). However, over a shorter period (72 days after planting) lightly pruned seedlings grew less (5 cm taller) than unpruned seedlings (10 cm taller). Heavily pruned seedlings grew 7 cm taller over this period. Methods: On an unspecified date, 144 nursery-reared Nuttall oak seedlings (approximately 25 cm tall) were planted in pots in a laboratory. Immediately before planting, 48 seedlings received each pruning treatment: light (25% of root removed), heavy (75% of root removed) or none. After planting, half of the seedlings were intermittently flooded (10 days flooded/10 days freely drained) whilst half were always “well watered”. Seedlings were monitored for up to 108 days after planting.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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